Successfully participating in a trade show event provides many benefits to your business: advertising, visibility, credibility, generating new leads and clients, and networking with past clients as well as other vendors and business associates. But in order to have a successful event, you must have a well-designed booth that will provide the most exposure and garner the most attention. The following list is compromised of the essentials and a few extra ideas to help your business reap the benefits of a trade show.
- Location, Location, Location
The location and size of your booth are the first things you must consider when signing up for an event. Not all events allow you to choose your location, but if you can you want to try to get a booth close to the entrance or exit or on a corner. These are locations that will have the most foot traffic and usually the most room to work with. The more foot traffic, the more people who will see your booth.
When preparing your design, you have to know the square footage that you are working with. This information will be valuable when determining the size of signs, posters, tables, and all other props and products that will be needed to fill the space.
A large, visible, and clear sign that can be seen and read from a distance is one of the most essential elements of your design. Obviously people need to know who you are and what services or products your business provides. Ensure that your sign (or poster or banner) matches your branding and includes your trademarks to allow for recognition. Also if you have a slogan that will help people remember who you are and what you sell be sure to include that on the sign or have it visible somewhere else. These purposes of these elements is to provide for name/product/and service recognition. Trademarks, signature looks, and branding all help customers to remember your company.
It is essential that your booth has plenty of available and portable information readily at hand. Buy plenty of flyers, brochures, post cards, and business cards to distribute at the trade show. Some people may be very interested in your product, but for whatever reason they do not have time to stay and chat with you, or you may be busy discussing your services with another potential client. You want every person who stops by your booth to have access to information and leave knowing why your company, your products, and your services are the best out there.
- Catch the Eye
Be different than the hundred surrounding booths. Use color, pictures, videos, and displays to draw in the eye and draw in the customer. Have displays for the show attendees to look at and capture their interest.
- Catch on to Social Media
Social media has become the fastest way to spread information. Weeks before the show is scheduled, start advertising that your company will be at the show. Send out Event invites. Also, post pictures, use hashtags, check-in to the event, and continue to post while you are at the show.
- Approachable and Knowledgeable Booth Attendants
The employees who are managing your booth should be clean and professional in dress and appearance. It is important for them to be friendly and approachable, but most of all they should be knowledgeable in the products and services offered by your company. The trade show attendees who have genuine interest in your products and services will have questions that your employees need to be prepared to answer. An ill-informed employee can have devastating effects on your company’s image.
- Demo Your Product or Service
Have examples of your products or services that are available for demonstration. Even better, let your future customers try out your products for themselves right there at the show.
- Swag and Giveaways
Everyone likes free stuff! A simple and cheap way to lure potential customers to your booth is with a candy bowl. But, if you want to offer longer lasting and more enticing swag, make sure that it is actually usable and somehow ties into your brand. You don’t want to waste a lot of money for something people are just going to toss in to their junk drawer when they get home. Another excellent way to capitalize on everyone’s love for all things free is to offer a giveaway. Have the show attendee’s sign up for the chance to win one of your products or services. This allows you to collect information for hundreds of individuals you know are interested in what you are offering. With this information you can build a contact list to make ‘not-so-cold-calls,’ or send out flyers that will help build your client base.
After the trade show, it is important to reach out and contact individuals who have expressed interest in your products and services as quickly as possible. Continue posting on social media and thank people who stopped by or helped out in some way.
If you’ve participated in a trade show event or are a frequent attendee of such events, comment below! Let us know what strategies have worked for you, or what you would like to see more of at trade shows.